First, let’s make the choux batter. In a pot, combine the water, butter and a pinch of salt, and turn on the burner. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. When the butter is completely melted and it reaches a rolling boil, turn off the burner.
Add the sieved cake flour to the pot. Quickly stir the mixture. When the flour has absorbed the water evenly and the mixture begins to turn gooey, turn on the burner again. Continue to stir the mixture on medium heat until a thin film forms on the bottom of the pot.
Place the mixture into a bowl. Flatten it with a spatula and slightly cool to avoid cooking the egg. Then, gradually add the beaten egg in 4 to 5 steps. When the egg is completely absorbed, begin adding another portion.
Achieving the perfect consistency is essential to making presentable choux pastries. To prevent the batter from getting too thin, add the egg a little at a time when it reaches the final stage. Drop the batter from the spatula as shown to check the consistency. When the choux batter left hanging forms a “V” shape, it is the perfect consistency.
Next, dust the edge of a 5cm (2″) diameter cup with any type of flour or starch. Then, as a rough guide, make 12 circles where the choux batter will be placed on the parchment paper.
Put the batter into a pastry bag. Hold the bag 1cm (0.5″) above the circle and squeeze the batter into a round shape. Repeat the process, filling each of the markers.
Dampen your finger with water and press each peak of the batter, adjusting the shape. Finally, mist the batter with water thoroughly to help avoid drying.
Place the baking sheet into the oven preheated to 200 °C (390 °F) and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet. Place the choux pastries onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Pastry Cream (net weight 500g/1.1 lb)
Let’s make the pastry cream. Cut the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise and scrape it with the back of a knife, extracting the seeds. Then, add the seeds and pod to the milk, mix and gradually heat it on low heat. When it begins to boil, turn off the burner.
Next, lightly beat 4 egg yolks in a bowl and add the sugar. Mix the egg yolk with a balloon whisk until it begins to lighten in color.
Combine the cake flour and corn starch, and sieve onto a sheet of paper. Add it to the egg yolk and combine the mixture. Add one third of the milk to the bowl, diluting the egg yolk. Make sure to add the milk film and vanilla seeds.
Then, using a mesh strainer, strain the egg yolk into the pot of the milk. Turn on the burner. Continue mixing the pastry cream until it thickens. When it begins to form bubbles, turn off the burner.
Place the pastry cream into a tray chilled with ice. Cover it with plastic wrap. Pastry cream spoils easily so cool it as soon as possible.
Add the sugar to a bowl of whipping cream. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Lightly mix the chilled pastry cream in a bowl to soften. Add the whipped cream and combine. We recommend adding two thirds of the whipped cream but you can adjust the amount to taste. Mix to combine.
Make a diagonal cut in each choux pastry. Put the pastry cream into a bag. Give it a little squeeze to remove the air inside. Open the pastry and squeeze a generous amount of the cream into it. You can also simplify the filling process by spooning the cream into the pastries.
Finally, sprinkle the powdered sugar over them.
We often add rum or brandy to the pastry cream. This will increase the flavor of the cream so try it out if you like.
Squeezing the batter with a pastry bag will help to make the choux the same size and shape.